Black Lives Matter. Black Disabled Lives Matter. Black Makers Matter.
I’ve spent so much time on Instagram lately I neglected to make my position on this blog clear, and for that I am sorry. It is imperative as a white person that I commit myself to anti-racism work, and that means following and highlighting the work of Black people in this field (while not pretending to be an expert myself).
I have a responsibility to make this space safe for all Black folx, for POC, for Indigenous, Native, Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander & Blak folx, of all abilities, disabilities, sexualities and gender identities (so that means if you’re a TERF, you can fuck right off, because Black trans lives matter and an attack on trans people is an attack on Black trans people who much more at risk of having violence perpetrated against them).
I’d like to share a fabulous Instagram account created in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.
It’s called Black Makers Matter. Black Makers Matter (@blkmakersmatter, #blkmakersmatter) are “a coalition of black makers united to bring about and implement cultural transformation in the sewing and crafting industry.” They have begun a boycott of Hobby Lobby, Michael’s and Joann fabric and craft stores in the US. (Seen in video and text format in the posts below.)
Jacinta Green (@pinkmimosabyjacinta) has created a comprehensive list of Minority & Ally Owned Vendors, called “Shut Up and Sew”. You can read more about her process on her Sewcialists blog, “Spending Your Money Where it Counts”. Some Australian or internationally accessible e-commerce stores are on that list. (As Jacinta writes in the comments, she spent 20+ hours collaborating with the sewing community on that list, so if you feel inclined to criticise, pull your head in.)
Finally, I’d like to say that if you are Disabled or consider yourself an ally, and wish to fight ableism, you cannot do so without also fighting racism. Ableism is the child of racism and Black Disabled people are disproportionately targeted by police. The case in similar in Australia, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and Disabled people overrepresented in prison and more likely to be abused there. Our battles are intertwined.